The turkey is gone, the piles of holiday cookies and cakes are slowly receding and the overall laziness that comes with the holiday season has trapped you and your kids indoors, in pajama’s, in front of screens. It’s time to get outdoors, get some exercise, and engage your brains! Not only will it keep your kids busy, it will also relieve stress, keep everyone’s holiday weight gain under control and be a great opportunity to spend time as a family.
Many summer camps offer winter camp programming. Whether is a youth camp, a group retreats or day camps, your family’s summer camp might have recreational activities available during the holiday break. They may offer rentals to groups that could include outdoor activities like nature walks, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, or even ice climbing! Find a camp near you!
Snow Sports at your Local Ski Area
Take ski or snowboarding lessons as a family at one of your local ski areas. This is a great way to embrace winter, learn new skills and spend time as a family outside. It can become something your children look forward to every Christmas break. Many ski hills also offer Christmas holiday day camps for kids as well.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Take a nature walk and explore the natural beauty of the great outdoors during the winter season. Get creative and create an outdoor scavenger hunt for the kids at the park or in the country. Or you can just walk through the neighbourhood and look at everyone’s outdoor Christmas decorations.
Family Field Trips
Get the kids off the couch and take them on a field trip! Go to your local museum, the space and science centre, heritage centre, zoo or aquarium. This creates a new learning environment, engages their minds and sparks their imaginations. Other great family fun activities could be bowling, laser tag, or going to the swimming pool.
Community centres might also have additional programs over the holidays for low or no cost. Check your local recreational program guide for indoor and outdoor programs and activities for your children, or for something you can do as a family.
Winter Outdoor Classics
Spend an evening ice skating at a local indoor or outdoor rink. Play a round of pond hockey or play tag on the ice.
Tobogganing is an excellent way to get exercise (climbing up that hill!) and have a blast. Everyone has memories of sledding as a child, and most have their own favourite neighbourhood hill. If you’re not sure where to go, check out this map of Canada’s hidden toboggan hills!
SNOWBALL FIGHT!!! All of that running, ducking and throwing will get your heart rate up! Gather your friends and family and let the snow ball fight begin! Make sure to keep it safe by having a ‘no hard-packed snowballs’ rule, no throwing ice and avoid hitting the face.
Make a snowman. The weather over the holidays in most of Alberta has been mild, creating ideal conditions for snowman making! Have the kids explore the yard or park for natural items to dress up the snowman. Gather pieces of wood or rocks for eyes and mouth, sticks for arms and stones for buttons. Remember to bring a carrot for the nose!
There are other things you can do to make sure your kids are staying healthy over the holidays. Make sure everyone is getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy meals and participating in imaginative play every day. That means limiting time spent watching movies and playing video games and maximizing time spent playing outside, or using their imagination with their new toys from Santa Claus.
Enjoy your time as a family and Happy Holidays!